The Lambing Flat Riots 1860-1861

[ 1860 - 1861 ]

The severe Australian laws that prompted the Eureka Stockade Miner's Rebellion were finally modified in 1854; however, Australian conservatives, whom the miners regarded as "the real aborigines," were never really defeated by liberal movements. Struggles over trade unionism revived (1855), and strikes occurred during periods of high unemployment, especially against the imported Chinese laborers. The settlement of Lambing Flat (Young) in New South Wales saw the worst of the riots against the Chinese, many of whom were attacked, robbed, beaten, or killed by white miners who wished to force them from the goldfields in the area. Some of the rioters were arrested; others fought gun battles with the police, who finally restored order in mid-1861. Alarmed by the protests, the effective passive resistance of the Chinese, and the spread of racism to include the Australian aborigines, the older Australian colonists who formed the legislative bodies merely restricted the Chinese to certain areas and, to discourage immigration by others, charged a residence tax.

Dictionary of Wars, 266.

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